NFL

NFL AM: Peyton Manning Motivated By Change

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Peyton Manning enjoying adjusting to change:

There’s no question that the hiring of Gary Kubiak in Denver means the Denver Broncos will be doing a lot more running of the football in 2015. Some believed having to learn a new offense this late into his career may be unappealing for Broncos veteran quarterback Peyton Manning, and even believed he may decide to retire.

However, Manning says it’s learning that new offense that’s invigorated his focus heading into 2015.

“I’ve talked to some players that have told me that they thought that they may have stopped playing just because they got bored with the monotony, whether it was the offense or the same meetings or what-not, that physically they felt pretty good, they just got bored and they got frustrated, and they said, ‘I want to go do something else,” Manning told DenverBroncos.com.

While Kubiak’s new schemes may mean less dropping back to throw the ball, there’s still plenty for Manning to learn, and it’s certainly keeping him on his toes.

“I’m going to tell you one thing I am not: I am not bored in the least bit,” Manning said. “I am stimulated by studying. I feel like I’m engaged in trying to learn something new from Gary Kubiak (and) Rick Dennison and learn a little something new from Owen Daniels Any time somebody has a question of me, I’m glad to answer that, about a route from Owen or James Casey. That’s been the truth.”

Manning who has often had a large hand in shaping the offenses he’s played in, doesn’t seem at all frustrated by Kubiak’s desire to balance the offensive play calling. Instead, Manning is taking the change in stride and likely understands how balance could extend his career.

Manning and the Broncos finished the season disappointed a season ago, largely in part to the veteran quarterback being banged up towards the end of the season. An offense relying heavily on C.J. Anderson and the running game will give Manning a rest on his aging body.

Whether it’s the pursuit of longevity or just being a good teammate, it’s clear Manning will allow the changes around him to motivate him instead of frustrating him.

“Changes, instead of being stymied by any type of change, be stimulated by them. That’s been true for me, and that’s been a real positive, to tell you the truth.”

Antonio Cromartie asks the hard questions:

It wasn’t long ago that Dee Milliner was the New York Jets first-round draft pick and a player they expected to be their top cornerback for years to come. Instead, today Milliner finds himself down the depth chart, and in a position where he has to justify his roster spot to a new coaching staff.

However, nobody expected returning veteran corner Antonio Cromartie to be the reporter who asked the young corner about his chances of making the team. Tuesday Cromartie grabbed a mic and played sports reporter, and asked Milliner how it felt to be “on the bubble.”

“Do you feel confident going into the season? There’s a lot of talk saying you’re on the roster bubble, (that) you’re here to make the team,” Cromartie jabbed at his new Jets teammate. “Do you feel and have the confidence that you and in your ability that you can do the things you’re supposed to do?”

Milliner handled it well, and answered the question just as if Cromartie was a credentialed member of the media asking a question for his story that afternoon.

“Oh most definitely,” Milliner said. “When I come out there I do what I’m supposed to do. Do my work, get better each day. Compete like I’m supposed to, like nothing ever happened. Just be out there.”

Milliner played his part as interviewee to Cromartie’s new reporter role, but he’s going to have to stay on the football field and play cornerback a lot more than he has the last two seasons if he hopes to stick with the Jets.

It would be a surprise to see Todd Bowles give up on a former 1st-round draft pick without taking the time to work with him first, but sooner or later Milliner is going to have to live up to his selection in the draft if he hopes to make a team that’ suddenly loaded at the position.

LaDainian Tomlinson will join Chargers Hall of Fame, have number retired:

In news that won’t surprise you at all, the San Diego Chargers have announced they will introduce LaDainian Tomlinson into their Hall of Fame and retire his number on November 22nd, when the Chargers host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.

Tomlinson was the best back in a generation, owning an MVP, and is the owner of the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season after racking up 28 in 2006.

Tomlinson will likely add the Pro Football Hall of Fame to his accomplishments when he becomes eligible in just a couple years. For now, he’ll be happy to join the Chargers Hall of Fame after being one of the greatest players in team history as Chargers chairman Dean Spanos remembers.

“Few players, if any, have meant more to this franchise than LT. He was the heart and soul of this team through one of the most successful decades in our history,” Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said in the team’s news release.


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.